Calving statistics: 11% increase in dairy calf births

The recent weather makes it hard to believe that spring is just around the corner, and over the next few months upwards of 1.5 million dairy calves are due to be born on Irish farms.

The latest figures from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) show that there has been an 11% increase on last year’s figures – with 29,706 head of dairy calves born so far compared to 26,758 head in 2020.

Weekly breakdown

Taking a closer look at the figures, we can see that 19,250 dairy calves were registered during the week-ending January 22, 2021 – a increase of 2,293 head on the corresponding week in 2020.

Looking at suckler calf registrations in more detail, during the week-ending January 22, some 8,240 beef calves were registered – a decrease of 1,199 head on the same week in 2020.

The total number of suckler calves registered so far this year stands at 19,625 head. During the same period in 2020, some 21,052 beef calves were registered.

When combined, total calf registrations – for both suckler and dairy – are running ahead of last year’s levels. During the week-ending January 22, a tally amounting to 27,490 head of calves had been registered – an increase of 1,521 head when compared to the same period in 2020.

Calf registrations up to and including the week ending January 22, 2021:

  • Beef births: 19,625 head (-1,427 head);
  • Dairy births: 29,706 head (+2,948 head);
  • Total births: 49,331 head (+1,521 head).